I first came across "The Calton Weaver" when browsing through Geoffrey Brace's Something to Sing
. Geoffrey Brace explains in his footnote that Calton is a part of Glasgow and that weaving was an important trade there in the old days. Weavers would hawk their wares about and gather in the evenings to drink and sing. Whisky, here [in this song], is compared with a girl who gets you in her clutches and never lets you go.
I like to sing this song softly, just as a real, genuine repentant drunkard should, with a nice gentle chorus where I can really act out my love of plonk in general and not just whisky.
Another interesting version with a somewhat different tune can be found in The Clancy Brothers
' The Irish Songbook
who amusingly refrain from giving its origins giving the reader the impression that this is an Irish song!